Category: Construction

Review + Giveaway: Superior Threads

When Superior Threads asked me if I was interested in testing their threads, I told them I most certainly was. I don’t put much thought into thread. I usually grab a spool of poly Coats and Clarks or something similar when buying fabric. Poly because I sew lingerie and the thread has a slight give. Woolly nylon was a new discovery – I wrote about it here – but I only use it for serging. So, yeh Superior Threads, why not expand my thread horizons?

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tags: Construction, lingerie, review, thread Comments: 78

What I’ve Learned From Sewing Lingerie

It’s a fun exercise to look back and reflect on where you once were and where you are now. Embarrassing too. I am one to constantly feel like I’m moving at a snail’s pace, which causes my inner mover and shaker to kick my tush into high gear and learn more, get stronger, be more efficient. I started sewing lingerie three years ago – I think, who’s counting? – and boy, has it been one hell of a learning curve. I made my first pair of underwear on a whim after I saw Amy made a Pepto Bismol pink bra and thought, sheesh, that’s pretty damn cool. My first piece wasn’t a bra, it was a pair of high waisted undies. Hideous – that’s what they were. But we’re all bad when we first start something. Unlucky for me, I shared my bad-ness on this blog. At the time, I didn’t think those panties were that awful, I actually thought they were good, and if I had a flux capacitor, I wouldn’t tell my former self that either. I’ve learned a lot since, and my style has definitely changed. I think it’s ironic that my eye is first drawn towards the frilly, La Perla type. But what I make and wear isn’t like that. Not at all. It is paired down, refined and modern. Not trying to toot my own horn, it’s just a matter a fact statement. I put together the gallery below. I started out with a lot of color and pattern, blue taking the lead. Then I made Nicole using a metallic lycra. The shape, the color and everything about it, I loved. This was around the same time I discovered Negative Underwear, a lingerie company with the same modern, simple, refined vibe. I continued this trend and for the…

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tags: bra making, Construction, lingerie, personal, What I've Made Comments: 13

What I Made: Allegra

This is not the first bodysuit I’ve sewn. It was a year and a half ago that I made Heather Lou’s The Nettie. Like Allegra, it was backless and was made with white and cream lace. With long sleeves, it could be worn as innerwear, but I saw most other sewists make outerwear versions. I wore mine with boyfriend jeans. My girl Lola rocked an ombre Nettie and my bra making muse, Amy, channeled her inner Marilyn with a simple black Nettie. Even after Nettie and Allegra, I’m still on the fence about bodysuits, which I will get to below. First, the deets. Fabric + Trims Front and back (body): cream, textured lycra from Fleishman Fabrics underlined with power net from Bra Makers Supply. I used temporary spray adhesive to spray baste fabrics together prior to cutting. I treated the layers as one going forward. Cups: 6.75″ metallic stretch galloon lace from Tailor Made Shop underlined with power net (same as for body) from Bra Makers Supply Crotch Lining: white cotton jersey from Fleishman Fabrics 3/8” white plush/picot elastic for underarm and center back edges from Bra Making Supplies by Arte Crafts 1/8” white elastic for front neck edges (clean finished with underlining – see photos) from Bra Makers Supply 1/4” cream stretch grosgrain strap elastic from Pacific Trimming 3/8” gold rings and sliders from Bra Makers Supply (ran out of 1/4”) I’ve been getting a heck of a lot better at dyeing. It’s easy to achieve a dark color – you just add a ton of dye. You can’t really add too much because your fabric and trims will only take a certain amount, and at that point, it’s exactly what you want – opaque. Achieving a lighter color, however, is difficult. Getting the hang of dyeing light colors is like getting the hang of sewing elastic. At first, you want to stretch the heck of out elastic. It’s takes many tries to…

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tags: bra making, Construction, lingerie, What I've Made Comments: 9

Sierra Sew-Along: Day 1

Welcome to the Sierra sew along! This will be your visual tutorial on how to make the Sierra bra. Similar to Mallori Lane, the construction is basic, so this is a great project for newbie lingerie sewists who want to dip into the world of bra making without having to think about cup sizes, underwires and channeling. Today, I’ll be covering supplies and tracing and cutting. Also, please share your bras on Instagram with the hashtag #bramakingwithmadalynne. You can also enter to win $25 to Bra Making Supplies by tagging both of us (@mmadalynne and @bramakingsupplies) with your Sierra. Winner will be chosen at the end of October. SUPPLIES 3 yards stretch lace with one edge that is scalloped or 2 yards galloon lace that is at least 7” (8” if a size large) 0.5 yards lining fabric 2.5 yards of ¼” or 3/8” picot/plush elastic 0.75 ¼” or 3/8” strap elastic One 2×3 hook and eye closure Sewing machine with zigzag stitch Rotary scissors Stretch needles size 11, 12, or 14 Universal needle size 16 Duck-billed scissors (optional) Polyester thread For this sew along, I’m using stretch galloon lace from Tailor Made Shop, beige powernet from Bra Makers Supply, 3/8” picot/plush elastic from Bra Making Supplies, a 2×3 hook and eye from Tailor Made Shop, rings and sliders from Bra Makers Supply, and stretch velvet strap elastic from Pacific Trimming. PRINTING, FINDING YOUR SIZE + CUTTING Follow the instructions in the PDF download to print your pattern. Even though the directions state it, be sure that your test square measures 3” x 3”. After, use a pair of paper scissors or a rotary cutter to cut off the right edges along the black line. Then, overlap the sheets so that the stars align and tape together. Next, find and cut…

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tags: bra making, Construction, lingerie, tutorial Comments: 20

Sierra Sew Along Starts Monday!

My first sew along for the Sierra bra starts Monday and pretty I’m pumped. A few people have posted or sent me photos of their iterations, which is only fueling my excitement. Ironically, I’m a little nervous too. Okay, okay, I get nervous minor things like dirty floors (Lauren can back me up on this one), but still, I’m nervous. As I was writing the posts, I kept thinking, “Did I cover it all?”… “Will they understand this?”… “Was that the best angle?” It’s pretty standard for indies to host a sew along with the release of a pattern, and I think they’re super effective and what differentiates us from the big pattern companies. Sewing related or not, if I want to learn something, my go-to resource is YouTube. I’m a visual learning. Text does stick unless I have pictures or a video to go along with it. So, let’s do this Sierra sew along! Will you be making a Sierra? If so, have you picked out your fabric and trims? Please share to get me even more stoked! And if you haven’t heard about the sew along and want to learn more and/or join, click here to read all about it. lace above from Tailor Made Shop

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tags: bra making, Construction, lingerie, personal, teaching Comments: 10

Bra Making Tutorial: Reducing Bulk

Just a quick bra making tip today. It’s a simple technique, but one that makes sewing a lot easier and the finished bra more professional and clean looking. When you have elastics that intersects, such as at a strap point, cut the first elastic short so that when the second is sewn and flipped back onto the first, there is very little bulk. Elastic is thick as it is, so reducing thickness at seams/points will prevent skipped stitches or your machine struggling to pass over “the hump.” This is especially true at strap points, when you could easily have 8 layers of fabric and elastic. When that happens, it’s almost impossible to attach the straps/rings. Your machine will literally go no where. So, how do you do this exactly? Let me walk you through it. I’ll use the strap point as an example and 3/8” elastic. I sew the first pass of elastic to one side, stopping 3/8” and a hair less from the edge of the fabric and cut the elastic to the last stitch (a hair less will account for the turn of cloth in the next step). Then, I turn the elastic to the wrong side and sew the second pass. After, I sew the second elastic to the other side, making sure that the elastic is butted up against where the first was cut off (see image). Last, I turn the elastic to the wrong side and sew the second pass. Do you have any bra making tips that make your bras more professional?

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tags: bra making, Construction, lingerie, teaching, tutorial Comments: 6

What I Made: Dakota

First, if you live in the US, I hope you’re having a great Labor Day! I’ll be in the studio today teaching and prepping to shoot a sew-along for this pattern. Oops! I might have let the cat out of the bag… Just like Sierra and Blake, these undies are a copy of a RTW design. To update those who missed those posts, I used to have a thing against buying lingerie from the market. It went against my handmade/sewing motto. That mentality changed when I went to Paris this summer and bought lingerie for the first time in over a year, rubbing off the patterns and copying the techniques. So far, it is helping my skills a lot – I get to experiment with guidance from an actual garment. It’s A LOT easier to copy a design when you have the tangible item in front of you rather than referring to photos. You can also take one half apart to see how it’s sewn and leave the other in tact. That’s assuming you’re not going to wear it. F A B R I C  +  T R I M S Front and back: black and white printed lycra underlined with white stretch mesh, both from Fleishman Fabrics. I used temporary spray adhesive to spray baste the fabrics together prior to cutting. I treated the layers as one going forward. The lycra is a very good quality, but it has 70% stretch, and for underwear, I like that number to be around 40%. The underwear has more “control”. Lining a stretch fabric with another stretch fabric reduces the stretch roughly 20%.  So, by underlining with the stretch mesh, I was able to get the stretch that I wanted. Crotch lining: cotton jersey from Fleishman Fabrics 3/8” firm black elastic for leg opening and front waist from Bra…

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tags: Construction, fabric, Fashon, lingerie Comments: 1